Saturday, June 10. 2006
THIS INTERVIEW WITH THE ONGOING FIDE WORLD CHESS PRESIDENT KIRSAN ILUMZHINOV APPEARED IN RUSSIAN IN SPORT EXPRESS AND THEN ON THE EXCELLENT CHESSBASE WEBSITE IN TRANSLATION-ALSO WITH SOME SUPERB FOTOS WHICH SHD BE SEEN-ESPECIALLY OF THE BIG RUSSIAN MASCOT BEAR.I THINK IT IS VERY INTERESTING HOW MANY STATEMENTS OF THE FIDE PRESIDENT SUPPORT WHAT I WROTE LAST WEEK ABOUT PIPELINE POLITICS AND THE NEW ECONOMIC FRONTIER IN THE EASTERN REGIONS OF RUSSIA. RAY KEENE
THE INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED BY VASILIEV OF SPORT EXPRESS:
Jurij Vasiliev: Kirsan Nikolaevich, what does this election, which you won with double the number of votes, mean for you?
The old and new FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
Kirsan Ilumzhinov: The elections got everybody worked up. It is important that for the first time I had a very serious and solid opponent. With money. As Bessel Kok confessed to me himself during our dinner before leaving Turino, they had built their election campaign on the American pattern. Serious investments were made, serious specialist that studied in America worked with. They tried to use every method of political fighting, including negative PR. So, one member of my team was the object of not only negative, I would say even dirty PR.
But all the efforts of your opponents failed. What was the crucial point in your victory?
When we had dinner I said to Kok: “You know why you lost? Because you came with negatives, with criticism. And we won, because we followed positive impulses.” They made a collection of our mistakes. But everybody knows that that the only person who never makes mistakes is the one who does nothing. We worked for the game of chess and were not insured against mistakes. Nobody is insured against that.
Did you think that you could lose?
If I had lost that would have meant that for almost ten years I have been going in the wrong direction. But the results of the elections showed that we had chosen the right direction. Almost 100 delegates voted in favour of my program – this means that the direction is right.
Your habit to regulate conflicts peacefully sometimes surprised your opponents. During the incident in the foyer, when one of the most active members of Kok’s team threatened to leave the Congress because of the wrong procedure (in their opinion) of the counting of the votes, you said: “Please, let your people to check the correctness of the voting procedure”. I noticed how confused they were. You dispirited them.
The discussion came from nothing. People from Kok’s team proposed to nominate two people from both sides in order to oversee the voting. But, firstly, it is not written on the delegate’s forehead for whom the delegate is going to vote – for me or for Kok. In the rules of FIDE since 1924 it is clearly stated that the mandate commission must be created, which checks the presence of the delegates and also appoints three delegates for controlling the voting procedure. However, in order to calm the situation, I decided to accept their point of view and said: “Please, you are welcome to appoint any controllers that you trust”. They wanted to bring their ballot-boxes and ballot-papers. I said: “All right, let us use your ballot-boxes and ballot-papers.” It disarmed them in a minute.
You received big applause because of your proposal to solve the dispute between two delegates from Peru, who for one hour couldn’t decide who of them had the right to vote and who didn’t. And you proposed then a real Solomon’s judgement: let them both vote.
The problem was the following. One of these delegates from Peru that we knew very well from past congresses was apparently stripped of his powers by the verdict of a court in Peru. At the Congress he said that he had appealed and that his rights as the President of Peru Chess Federation were still intact. And his colleague, a lady, also had a bunch of papers that proved her rights. In order to stop the discussions I proposed that both of them vote.
Even although lawyers were against it, people in the hall were completely on your side. I think that with this suggestion you won over to your side a lot of people. Peaceful settlement of discussions always provokes sympathy.
First of all I wanted to guard FIDE from the danger of going down the path of political discussions. Our task is to work for the welfare of chess, and not to do something different.
During your closing speech at the FIDE Congress you said that you are going to take into account many points from the election program of your opponent. What impressed you in the arguments of Kok?
We are ready to use the contacts that Kok has with strong European sponsors, for the welfare of chess. I proposed to him that we create a joint marketing company, which he would operate, and once a year he would report on the work to FIDE. Indeed, it is the same idea of creating a professional organization that everybody was thinking about in Prague in 2002, but only in new implementation.
And what did Kok answer?
He said: “All right, I will think about it and give an answer in a month”.
After Prague Kok was also “thinking”. At first for one month, then for two months, and then he disappeared...
It is possible that this time he will decide to work for the welfare of chess. A lot of the most active members of Kok’s team were invited to work in the re-newed FIDE, and some of them I even made my deputies.
That means that instead of the split everybody was expecting we achieved unity?
Kirsan, Bessel and Campo (Florencio Campomanes, former President of FIDE)
It is because the idea of the creation won, not the idea of the destruction. If he had won, I am sure, the split would have been unavoidable.
Will there be any new directions in the FIDE activities?
In this point the experience of the elections in Turin played a positive role to some extent. We decided to place more attention on the popularization of chess, and want to cooperate with the famous web site of ChessBase. Its chief editor Frederic Friedel came to me with concrete proposals on how it should be done best.
A giant Siberian bear WAS in Turin, promoting
the chess activities of Khanty-Mansiysk
Some people were surprised by the fact that Khanty-Mansiysk was elected to be the host of the World Chess Olympiad in 2010. Our city won against such competitors as Riga, Poznan, Budva, and Buenos Aires. What attracted delegates to the Taiga region? Maybe the giant bear that walked around the stand of Khanty-Mansiysk in Turin?
(Laughs) Actually the delegates did not like the giant bear but the gigantic amount of oil that is produced in this region, and the very attractive financial conditions that organizers proposed: free charter flights all over the world, free visas, one quarter of a million in prize funds... The delegates were also impressed because of the proposition by Khanty-Mansiysk to host the World Cup 2007 and 2009, with a total prize fund of more than 3.2 million dollars.
I remember how last year, despite the hard frost of Siberia, all participants of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk were delighted with both the level of the organization of the event, and the cordial welcome from the organizers. This, probably, also played positive role for the victory of Ugra?
News travels quickly! The information was spread by arbiters, by FIDE activists that were there. Campomanes, wearing the luxurious fox fur cap created such a furore that everybody wanted to test the Siberian hospitality for themselves.
It seems like Ugra is becoming a big chess centre.
I am glad that not only the governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk region, Alexander Filipenko, my big friend, became seriously attracted to chess. Other governors are also showing great interest in our game. When we gave to Mexico the right to host the World Championship [in 2007], the governor Eduard Rossel called me and said with offended tone: “But we had agreed that we would host the World Championship!” The more chess cities we have on the world map, the better.
During the super tournament in Sofia one of its winners, Gata Kamsky, expressed concern towards the candidates matches. Apparently no one knows whether they will take place or not.
The problem was that everybody waited for the outcome of the elections, and only after that concrete proposals came. For example the President of the USA Chess Federation expressed readiness to host candidates matches in the USA. In the near future the executive director of the FIDE will sign agreements with the USA and other countries.
And the plans to host the tournament of eight players in Mexico, and the match for the World Champion title between Topalov and Kramnik are still valid?
Of course. The match for the World Chess crown in Elista will take place very soon already. I met Vladimir Kramnik during the Olympiad in Turin, he congratulated me on my victory in the elections and thanked me for the organization of the match. I invited him to come to Elista any time, in order to adapt better. The same invitation was made to Veselin Topalov during his visit to Moscow in spring.
The hall of the governmental building in Elista, where the match Topalov-Kramnik will take place, will be restored before the beginning of the match, and best conditions for the game will be provided. A cottage with sauna and swimming pool, and a cook will be at every team’s disposal. But if one of the world champions wants to bring his own cook that is also fine. For every team we will provide two good cars. Everything will be at a high level. When I invited US grandmaster Yasser Seirawan to be the official commentator of the match, his wife came to me and said: “I want to come to Elista as well!” I should say that the interest in the match is very big already, and the closer September comes, the bigger will be the interest.
Who will be the main arbiter of the match?
This year it is the tenth anniversary of the historical match Karpov-Kamsky, which took place in Elista and which was controlled by one of the most competent international arbiters in the world: Geurt Gijssen. During the Chess Olympiad in Turin, where he was also the main arbiter, Gijssen reminded me about this. I proposed that he be the main arbiter of the match Topalov-Kramnik as well. I think that his candidature will not raise any objections. When I asked Kramnik his opinion about this, he said that he is not against it. Topalov, I believe, will not object either.
The point in the regulations that specifies that the player who loses the match in Elista, will start the participation in the next cycle from zero level will not be revised?
I can now give you the following answer to this question: so far nothing changes. Let us have this match, and see what resonance it will have in the world. This match is far too important for the future of chess, that is why I don’t want to speculate now.
But can we look forward one year into the future? The World Chess Championship in Mexico will be held according to the same formula that it was held in San Luis last year?
The formula and the status of the tournament will remain the same. The interest in the whole world was so big that it would be a sin to change anything.
Kirsan Nikolayevich, in your life how many elections have you won in succession?
Eleven, if you start from 1989...
And which was the most remarkable for you?
The first one. In 1989, when I was 27 years old, I was nominated to the position of deputy. The competition was amongst 21 candidates for one place. Among my opponents were a national actor, the minister for health, the mayor of the capital, a secretary of the Communist Party, and a priest... People gave me their vote, I won.
So you have already won eleven elections. How many do you plan to win in the future?
I never plan. I didn’t even plan the FIDE elections. Kok came – so we “ate” Kok... How it was in songs of Visotsky? “We wanted to cook, but ate Cooke?” And here we ate Kok. [Vladimir Visotsky was a famous poet, singer and actor in the Soviet Union. James Cook was the English seafarer of the 18th century and was killed and eaten by the inhabitants of Hawaii]. There is a star, so I follow it, I work. And what will be God’s will I have no idea. It can be that suddenly He will command me to go to a cloister and to pray there day and night. I will then go to the cloister and will pray.
It was unexpected for you that the day before the voting at the Congress Gary Kasparov addressed to the General Assembly with the open letter, where he unequivocally called on the delegates to make “the right move” – to elect Kok. And your opponent quoted this phrase from the Kasparov’s letter..
But Garry didn’t write directly: “Vote for Kok”. He called on the delegates to make the right move – the right choice. The delegates did exactly that. So I am grateful to Kasparov for his support.
INTERVIEW WITH A NEW CHESS SUPERSTAR
Chess queen: Arianne Caoili was the subject of a nightclub brawl.foto from the melbourne herald sun paper australia
BY RAYMOND KEENE TIMES CHESS CORRESPONDENT
AND JAMES O FEE FREELANCE IMPALA BLOG EDITOR BELFAST
Aianne Caoili, the 19 year old chess playing beauty at the heart of the neanderthal brawl between two chess grandmasters , is every mans dream -or perhaps worst nightnmare-depending on your point of view. A staggeringly beautiful young woman, with film star looks and ambition and an IQ to match. Since the age of five she has been marked out as a chessplaying prodigy, she has hundreds of her chessboard wins listed on the international databases, she is numbered in the absolute elite of australian womens chess, claiming number three spot in their ratings, and she has just finished representing australia in the biennial chess olympiad or world team tournament in turin , italy.
On tuesday THIS WEEK.THE TIMES broke the story of how two grandmasters, normally the most cerebral of gentlemen, had reverted to brute neanderthalism and fought over her in a turin night club. by next day this story had raced round the world.Last night we tracked her down to her next chessboard engagement , a chess tournament in Lodi, Italy, and asked her how it felt for a woman with both great brains and fabulous beauty to inspire such primaeval urges in two men who would be more at home in an Oxford symposium DISSECTING the fourth book of virgils aeneid, than locking horns on the floor of a turin nightclub.
first a little background for those cenobites and other hermits who may have missed the first blast of publicity surrounding this bizarre story.
Arianne Caoili, frequently dubbed the Anna Kournikova of chess, ignited a jealous clash between a rising Armenian star, world number three levon aronian, and a top British player, grandmaster danny gormally, during the chess olympiad in Turin. as the times was the first to report this tuesday,the 19-year-old's energetic dancing with Levon Aronian, the world's No. 3, provoked Englishman Danny Gormally to fight for the chess queen. Witnesses had to separate the men after Gormally, who had been drinking, barged across the Hiroshima Mon Amour nightclub and punched the Armenian chess genius to the ground.
The next day ARMENIAN fans of Aronian, 23, launched a revenge attack on Gormally, 30, as he sat in a cafe-ONLY THE INTERVENTION OF RUSSIAN SPEAKING SENIOR MEMBER OF THE ENGLAND SQUAD, FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINALIST-HAMPSTEAD GRANDMASTER JON SPEELMAN, averted a bloodbath. this danger signal of perhaps worse to come prompted the thwarted British team member, who had already been criticised publicly by his england colleague nigel short, to quit the world's biggest tournament and go home to England. Meanwhile, according to Australian sources, the chess starlet's mother, Annette, --quoted in the MELBOURNE HERALD SUN-said her daughter planned to catch up soon with Aronian, considered the David Beckham of Armenia.
"All I know is that they like each other and they'll see each other in Germany, and if it develops . . . I don't know," her mother said. "Aronian didn't do anything. He's a very nice guy. He's a superstar in the chess world. "She was just dancing. It was not provoked, and this guy went a little bit strange and punched Aronian. Aronian didn't get hurt or anything -- he still led the armenian team to gold medals in the olympiad championship." indeed, the armenian gold medal winning team was captained by the defence minister of armenia and returned to erevan to an ecstatic heroes welcome of many thousands, comparable to what wd happen here were england to capture the football world cup. chess is virtually the national sport in armenia as a result of tigran petrosian, their national hero, holding the world championship from 1963-1969. aronian is petrosians intellectual heir.
Caoili, Australia's No. 3, is said to have been in email contact with Gormally before the World Chess Olympiad in Italy. Her website says she likes arguing, getting up to no good, fine food and fine boys, Johnny Depp, vodka, Kahlua, dwarfs, and the odd Cuban cigar; amongst her polymathic interests are Latin, ice-skating, literature, languages, psychology, politics, history, philosophy and revolutionary thought.
Ranked No. 7 on the controversial Women's Chess Beauty Contest website, Caoili says she loves the game because it is "fighting for the mere pleasure of fighting". "There is nothing like arguing for the mere pleasure of arguing," she says. "It is my weakness to sometimes start a random friction between myself and another to test reactions/psyche, get amused, or simply to relax. "Of course there are also arguments that actually matter."
Ariannes mother continued: "From what she said, the British guy, I think he maybe fancies her. "The Armenian is very nice, very intelligent . . . he's too smart to voluntarily get involved in any of that fighting."
NOW FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH NEW WORLD CHESS SUPERSTAR ARIANNE CAOILI
"I want to be Sharapova, not Kournakova"
A chess beauty stood at the apex of the love triangle which saw two grandmasters come to blows at the Chess Olympiad in Turin. That beauty is Australian Women’s International Master Arianne Caoili, aged 19, called the ‘Kournakova of chess’.
On Wednesday we tracked Arianne down to a hotel in Lodi, where she is competing in her next chess tournament after the controversial Turin olympiad..
Since The Times broke the story on Tuesday, other English newspapers have enthusiastically picked up our story-it spread with forest fire speed to Arianne’s native Australia, to the Philippines (where she grew up), and to Italy (the Corriere della Sera); with the result that Arianne issued a short statement to seek to correct misquotations and false statements.
Arianne sets the record straight on that incident and on her ambitions for the future –
We are told that that English Grandmaster Danny Gormally punched Levon Aronian, from Armenia, at the Olympiad in an argument over you. How well do you know the two Grandmasters?
I have known Lev (Levon Aronian) from when I was age 9 and we were competing in chess tournaments together. Lev is a friend and won the Gold Medal for his country at the Olympiad. I have known Danny for a long time, too, but there is no truth in the statement that Danny and I had conducted a romance by email.
Might your relationship with Aronian be a romantic one?
I will not answer that question. It is nobody else’s business but ours.
How did the incident happen?
I had talked to Danny at the party to tell him that our relationship would be no more than friendship. I was dancing Salsa with Lev; then suddenly there was a scrum and Lev was on the floor. I did not personally see Gormally punch Levon.
I believe that you are a very good dancer and teach Salsa in fact. Did your provocative dancing spark the scuffle?
Not at all - we were dancing non-provocatively. In fact, I was quite far away from Lev when Danny appeared and I did not see Danny punch Lev. Others at the party then restrained Lev. Fortunately Lev was not badly hurt.
Might you have any explanation for Gormally’s violence?
I can only think that it was due to a combination of drink and some drugs that Danny may allegedly be taking for medicinal purposes. In fact, Danny might have punched the wrong chessplayer since I was supposed to be with the young german grandmaster Naiditsch that evening.he was my official escort!
What is your relationship with Gormally now?
Danny apologised to me the next day and I accepted his apology. But I don’t want to talk to Danny anymore. This is sad since we have been friends for many years.
What will you do this summer?
I enjoyed the Olympiad, especially my win against Grandmaster Irina Chelushkina of Serbia and Montenegro.
This summer I will play chess here in Lodi, in Dortmund, and in other tournaments.
And for the future?
I want to study Law and International Relations either in England or Germany. I would love to attend Oxford University. I want to be known as the Sharapova of chess, rather than the Kournakova - known for both my brains and beauty.
And you want to sing professionally?
Yes, I am currently recording songs for my first album. And I am looking for a recording company!
What about modelling?
Yes, I love modelling.
And when will your fans in England next see you here?
I love England and hope to visit soon; certainly before November.
Arianne, thanks very much.
Arianne's website -
here is Ari’s favourite chess win from the turin olympiad -she plays with the black pieces and wins against a strong rival-the moves are given in the internationally recognised algebraic notation as used in THE TIMES CHESS COLUMN EACH DAY
Event 37th Olympiad
White Chelushkina FORMER SOVIET CHAMPION
Black Caoili AUSTRALIA
KINGS INDIAN ATTACK OPENING -LASKER DEFENCE
1. g3 Nf6
2. Bg2 d5
3. Nf3 Bf5
4. d3 h6
5. Nbd2 e6
6. O-O Be7
7. Qe1 O-O
8. e4 Bh7
9. Qe2 c5
10. e5 Nfd7
11. Re1 Nc6
12. a3 Qc7
13. h4 b5
14. Nf1 Rab8
15. Bf4 b4
16. axb4 Nxb4
17. b3 c4
18. bxc4 dxc4
19. Rec1 Nb6
20. Ne3 cxd3
21. cxd3 Qd7
22. d4 Rfc8
23. h5 Na4
24. d5 Rxc1+
25. Rxc1 Nd3
26. Rc4 Rb2
27. Nd2 Bb4
28. Nd1 Nxf4
29. Rxf4 Nc3
30. Qg4 Bf5
31. Rxf5 exf5
32. e6 fxe6
33. Qg6 Rxd2
34. Nxc3 Bxc3
35. dxe6 Qe7
36. Qxf5 Qf6
37. e7 Qxf5
38. e8=Q+ Qf8
39. Qe6+ Kh8
40. Kh2 Rxf2
41. Qe3 Bb4
42. Qxa7 Bc5
43. Qb7 Rf5
44. g4 Qd6+
WHITE RESIGNS THE GAME
ARIANNES DEFEATED OPPONENT IN THIS GAME WAS THE FORMER WOMENS CHAMPION OF THE USSR.
Sunday, June 4. 2006
i am going to make a startling analogy now-maybe its going too far but it is what i feel:for me chess is a symbol of the universe and its infinite powers-extent and laws. the symbolism is on many levels.destruction-creation-finishing-starting again-balance-harmony-black-white-opposites and reconciliation.meditation and also risk and mystery.
does one believe in God? whatever your decision it involves ultimately a risk and a leap of faith. you must have faith and courage to believe in God-whatever your religion. but you also need faith and courage not to believe. you can be very certain one way or other in your own mind-but there is always that element... that frisson of doubt.it used to be that way in chess as well.
now along comes fritz-and all doubt is banished. there is no faith and no leap of belief. you know for sure-it works or its unsound.two of what i considered to be my best games were uttely demolished by fritz which proved that my beautiful and very deep and long combinations were just rubbish.( fuller -keene british ch 1970-ludgate-keene brit ch 1971.)
for me it is as if a computer could say with absolute certainty-God exists or God does not exist. what impact would either such pronouncement have on society if we knew-whatever the computer said-that it had to be correct !?
nietzches superman functions in the "knowledge" that "God is dead" and that the universe is ultimately meaningless because it recurs cyclically-yet the superman has the courage to act as if this knowledge were not crippling. to carry on loving chess and playing it and analysing it in the knowledge of the existence of fritz ( substitute any other reliable program here) is an act of nietzschean moral courage.
when i wrote my books on nimzowitsch stein staunton etc there was a kind of thrill doing the analysis-some games were like a long adventurous sea voyage-you spent hours analysing a position-advancing further and further into the unknown and then you reached a conclusion-but without knowing absolutely if you were right. now you just check with fritz and minutes later you know for sure. it has taken some of the mystery away for me.
No, you still have it wrong. It's CAOILI.
#1 The Closet GM (Link) on 2006-06-04 11:11
THANKS TO THE CLOSET GRANDMASTER IN SYDNEY !!
ARIANNE CAIOLI APEARS TO BE THE CORRECT SPELLING OF THE YOUNG LADY WHO WAS THE CASUS BELLI OF THE GORMALLY V ARMENIA CHESS PUNCH UP AT THE TURIN OLYMPIAD. IN OUR ARTICLE QUOTED FROM OTHER SOURCES THE NAME IS GIVEN DIFFERENTLY AS CASIOLI-WE HAVE NOT ALTERED THIS -SO AS TO BE FAITHFUL TO OUR SOURCE --BUT WE NOW BELIEVE "CAIOLI" TO BE THE CORRECT SPELLING.
BLOGSITE EDITOR JAMES OF FEE ADDS--I think it's likely to be -
wm Arianne Caoili AUS 2207
since this is what appears on the site of the Queenstown NZ Chess Classic, where the young lady played
But open to correction
RAY KEENE -WHO LIKES TO SPELL THINGS AND PERSONS CORRECTLY WHERE POSSIBLE ADDS IN NEAR DESPERATION---
THE IMPALA BLOGSITE WD WELCOME GUIDANCE AS TO THE EXACT SPELLING OF THE SURNAME OF THE SIREN TEMPTRESS WHO CAUSED OPEN WARFARE BETWEEN ENGLISH CHESS HOOLIGAN (S) AND ARMENIAN STAR(S) AND FANS-WE HAVE NOW SEEN COELI-CASOLI-CAOILI-CAOLI AND CAIOLI--ANYONE WHO KNOWS HER AND CAN SPELL PLS HELP!!
Saturday, June 3. 2006
The English squad is now down to five players after board four GM Danny Gormally flew home a couple of days ago. Before leaving, he displayed the first sign of real aggression seen from the English squad since its arrival in Turin. Sadly it was not at the chessboard, but at the Bermuda party on the night before the second rest day. From what the BCM has been able to gather from various sources present in Turin, the facts appear to be as follows: annoyed that a young lady player (Arianne Casioli of Australia) preferred to dance with Levon Aronian of Armenia, Gormally landed a punch on the world number three. Thankfully the blow did not do any real damage but the Armenian delegation was understandably incensed that their top board should be treated in this way. To keep the peace, the English delegation decided that Gormally would have to be sent back home immediately. Incidentally, Gormally's team-mate Nigel Short voiced criticism of his colleague in his weekly column in the Guardian on 1 June (presumably written before the alleged incident at the Bermuda party). Curiously, the London newspaper does not seem to have published this online yet as they usually do, but here is a quotation: "Danny is clearly wrestling with demons of his own. When the entire hall rose for a minute's silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the Indonesian earthquake, England's fourth board remained slouched in his chair. Suffice it to say that he lost miserably. While everyone can be excused the occasional poor result, bad form combined with bad attitude is less easily forgiven." It seems that all was not sweetness and light in the English camp even before the incident at the party. Regrettably this is not the first time that an English-registered player has behaved in this manner in the course of a tournament. It goes all the way back to the 19th century master JH Blackburne who is alleged to have thrown Steinitz through a window on one occasion. There was a rather more recent incident - only last year - in which a young English player lashed out at an arbiter during a tournament in Ireland. This received very little publicity in the press (with the exception of New in Chess magazine). The tendency to keep unsavoury incidents under wraps seems to be the norm in English chess circles, but perhaps it is time that we learnt to air these matters more publicly. The English Chess Federation tends to keep very quiet about incidents but it is our view that the English chess public should have the right to know how players behave when they have been chosen to represent their country. Well, there we are - the headlines read "English player thumps rival in nightclub incident" - and the World Cup hasn't even started yet...
From the British Chess Magazine website http://www.bcmchess.co.uk
From the British Chess Magazine website http://www.bcmchess.co.uk
WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE BRITISH CHES MAGAZINE WEBSITE FOR THE FOLLOWING ITEM FIRST DRAWN TO OUR ATTENTION BY BOB WADE OBE-FOR FURTHER INFO SEE THE BRTISH CHESS MAGAZINE WEBSITE-AN OUTSTANDING SOURCE FOR UP TO THE MINUTE CHESS NEWS
MANY THANKS TO THE BRITISH CHESS MAGAZINE WEBSITE
CHESS AND PIPLEINE POLITICS BY RAY KEENE
Kirsan Ilumzhinov, the colourful president , both of the autonomous russian republic of kalmykia and of fide, the world chess federation, has won the fide election, held at the turin olympiad early in june, and thus retained his presidency of the international chess body. he defeated the challenger, european businessman bessel kok, by a handsome margin relying on the support of virtually every non-european nation. top players and european federations may have no faith in him but paradoxically, he is probably not the third world demagogue his predecessor, florencio campomanes, turned out to be, but a far more subtle player on the world political and economic chessboard. his magalomanaic ambitions have, in the past, been guaged by his construction of an essentially deserted chess city in his homeland, but this is just one element of a much broader strategy for bringing chess to the attention of the world, in his own idiosyncratic fashion.
thus, funded by kirsan, a kramnik v topalov world championship reunification match is happening in elista, the capital of kalmykia over september and october this year- with a 1 m dollar prize-split equally. moreover, the azerbaijan grandmaster radjabov has challenged topalov to a private world championship match in baku early next year.this challenge has been accepted! with a 1.5 m dollar prize-topalov receives 1m come what may.
the principle that the winner takes the lions share appears to have been abandoned in both cases, but one cannot cavil at kirsans policy of allowing powerful challengers to take a shot at the title so long as the official cycle is also mantained. this can do nothing but help to encourage the spread of chess.
the notable factor in all this FIDE ACTIVITY is that regions and local governments are sponsoring chess , not-as in the past- corporations or business. preceding the elista and baku events, the same pattern emerged with the fide world tournament in argentina last year and the fide championship tournament scheduled for mexico 2007 . ALSO FIDE EVENTS IN outposts of RUSSIA RECENTLY SUCH AS EKATERINBURG AND KHANTY MANSISK. this may be a function of ilumzhinov being president of kalmykia and thus giving him acccess to a new type of contact in government circles.IT MAY ALSO BE A FUNCTION OF what has been termed PIPELINE POLITICS , CREATING A NEW ECONOMIC FRONTIER based on OIL and its distribution. under this scenario , a novel and powerful economic entity is emerging, consisting of RICH or strategically positioned RUSSIAN PROVINCES AND RUSSIAN AUTONOMOUS REPUBLICS -SUCH AS KALMYKIA ITSELF-WHICH may either have oil or gas or can facilitate OIL TRANSPORTATION.
these cities and regions of the former soviet empire now seem to be enthusiastic about sponsoring high profile chess events. this is a powerful indicator that they are forming the unexpected bastions of a richly endowed economic future. kalmykia itself owns oil and gas reserves, and it is also a focal point for the convergence of other petroleum interests which might wish to avoid more inflammatory areas. kirsan is reputed to have made his first fortune by trading with saddam hussein. indeed, he actually tried to hold the 1996 fide world championship in baghdad. although talked out of that by nervous advisers, he did go on to stage a fide world championship tournament in colonel gadaffi's tripoli.
old european chess interests -such as bessel kok the defeated presidential challenger, -look back longingly to a classical chess past where the grandmasters and champions such as fischer and kasparov were , on the plus side,world renowned superstars but also, on the downside, a law unto themselves. witness, for example, fischers refusal to defend his title in 1975 when his own regualtions were thriwn out by fide. now, however, that old template has been swept away by kirsan who has hidden supporters and strengths at which the world at large may only conjecture.his ambition has always been to tame the overmighty champions and make them toe the governing body's line. his insistence on drug tests, largely irrelevant for chessplayers, has been an integral part of the arsenal for this disciplinary process.now, with kasparov in self -imposed retirement, and kramnik willing to stake his independent world title in elista, kirsan is ready, after more than a decade as titular head of the chess world, to seize real as well as nominal control.
true-kirsan was on the last flight out of baghdad before saddam hussein fell-and he endured a period of relative austerity after that. now . though, he has recovered his footing and i would not be at all surprised if he enjoyed covert but committed backing both from putin in moscow and , paradoxically also the us state dept.
consider these facts. petroleum industry plenipotentiaries are increasingly finding their way to elista the capital of kalmykia. kirsan has oil and gas but also also a far more important resource- his own secure personal seaborne outlet .the crisscrossing of former soviet asia with existing and projected lines is extraordinary;but land -based pipelines are singularly vulnerable to political pressure and terrorist attack. contrast that asset with the security of controlling ones own port and one's own supertankers on the open ocean. both are far less exposed to unwelcome external influences!!
kirsan is recently on record as having struck an agreement with a group of german investors and iranian oil producers to develop his own port on the caspian sea at LAGAN. this puts him in the top league and makes what would seem to be a tin pot former russian colony- now an autonomous region- the hub of this new economic frontier.
kirsan has won the fide election, doubtless supported by pressures from power and influence centres bessel kok cd not even imagine.chess purists will gnash their teeth and are so doing-witness the following from ROBERT HUNTINGTON, A FORMER associated press chess specialist and bessel kok supporter.FIDE, desperate for resources and heedless of where they came from, brought in Ilyumzhinov as its new president in November 1995:
"That Ilyumzhinov was a lunatic and an autocrat who could do untold damage to the game was clear from the beginning. Recall his initial awarding of the Karpov-Kamsky match to Baghdad. In the spring of 1996, representatives of a number of western federations gathered in Utrecht to consider the possibility of breaking away from FIDE and forming an alternative organization.
Bessel Kok’s campaign was probably the last hope of reforming FIDE from within. Four more years of Ilyumzhinov and the situation may be past all hope of repair. A structure needs to be created such that commercial sponsors are convinced that they are supporting an ancient and noble challenge and expression of the human spirit and not a mad dictator who talks to aliens and whose aides murder journalists. I know FIDE’s motto “We are one family” (gens una sumus) but some families are so dysfunctional that the only healthy thing to do is move out."
huntingtons logic is impeccable in many ways, but he is wrong in the sense that he has overlooked kirsan's specific vision for chess , one that is constructed on untold wealth, to be housed on a vibrant new economic frontier and supported by huge forces that are largely invisible to the conventional chess ivory towerist.
Sunday, May 28. 2006
FROM RAY KEENE
THE CHESS ELECTION HEATS UP
WE HAVE PUBLISHED HERE THE OPEN LETTER FROM FORMER FIDE VICE PRESIDENT BACHAR KOUATLY-WE FEEL WE MUST ALSO PUBLISH THE RESPONSE-WE SAW THE ORIGINAL ON THE FAMOUS AND WELL INFORMED CHESSBASE WEBSITE
FIDE President reacts to Open Letter in ChessBase by GM Kouatly
My attention has been drawn to the publication on the Chessbase website www.chessbase.com under the caption Election 06: Can FIDE be reformed? Open Letter by Bachar Kouatly of 26 May 2006.
I would never have bothered to respond to this article especially because as we have an election before us all sorts of rumors are in the air. But I am forced to respond because in my over 10 years in FIDE, I have never had to face such very low and false allegation against a principal official of FIDE who enjoys my personal trust and respect at all times. It is a well known fact in FIDE that Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos since the inception of my administration, chose not to be involved in handling any financial matters of FIDE. At no time did Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos personally receive USD 1,000,000 as being alleged in Mr. Kouatly's Open Letter for the organization of the 1999 World Chess Championship in Las Vegas. At no time did any single dollar disappear.
Mr. Makropoulos has shown his outstanding ability through the years of organizing dozens of World class chess events that have put his native Greece as one of the fastest developing federations in the World. At the same time, and unlike most new found critics, he never put his personal interest above that of FIDE. He is the one person in FIDE who is very active and always canvassing for unity in our organization. At all times, he is always consulting with me and not making personal decisions in FIDE matters.
I would like to restate for the avoidance of doubt, that there has never been any single incidence of corruption during my tenure as FIDE President. No one member of our team has ever been found guilty of corruption neither has any dollar disappeared from the accounts of FIDE. I therefore wish to sound this note of warning to all those who may want to engage in using these unfounded rumours to score an unfair political point to desist from these acts.
In the light of the above, Deputy President Makropoulos as well as other members of my ticket, enjoy my implicit confidence and respect of not only people in our camp in this year's elections but also of members of the opposing ticket. The Chessfidelity ticket, representing all the Continents, enjoys the full support of the great majority of our delegates. It is for this reason that our ticket expects a landslide victory come 2nd June 2006.
Gens Una Sumus.
27 May 2006
Deputy President G. Makropoulos' reaction
Concerning the libellous open letter of Bachar Kouatly on the chessbase website of 26 May 2006 I would like to say the following:
I am not surprised that Bachar has chosen to attack me and the Chessfidelity ticket by using a dirty lie when he says that I actually stole USD 1,000,000 from Kirsan. This man has used similar methods to attack the FIDE President in the FIDE elections in 1996 as well as insulting him in front of his people in Elista in 1998.
Kouatly's tenure as Deputy President in the period 1995 to 1996 succeeded in turning the great majority of the chess world against him and FIDE, because it was soon realised that most of his actions were for his own interest and not for FIDE. This was the very reason, in addition to his lies, that led to his being dropped by the President from his team and in the end he had to withdraw his candidacy from the elections in 1996.
I do not need to add anything more as the chess world has decided to consign him and his methods to history.
All those people that are flirting with the ideas of corruption in FIDE can only submit lies and shameful arguments as being used by Mr. Kouatly in his open letter. This is a desperate effort to obtain some more votes for the opposition. The greater majority of the delegates will definitely vote for the truth.
Gens Una Sumus
FIDE Deputy President
IS THE UK A BASICALLY AGGRESSIVE NATION-OR-AS NAPOLEON PUT IT-ARE WE A NATION OF SHOPKEEPERS?
BY RAY KEENE
Ever since the successful invasion by William the Conqueror in 1066 the British Isles have proved to be a disproportionately pugnacious grouping, ready to take on anyone the world over. Opponents in declared belligerencies have included the USA ( twice) as well as the giant Empires of Russia, China, Ottoman Turkey, Germany, Austro - Hungary and Japan.Does that leave anyone out? In spite of this, favourite enemies tended to be nearer home, such as the French, the Spanish and, when the usual suspects were off sick, ourselves.
From the 14th to the 19th centuries the constant practice of warfare threw up some notable British Military Geniuses, and led to the names of outstanding commanders being indelibly engraved in the language. Edward III, the Black Prince and Henry V, not to mention their victories of Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt. Elizabeth I's Sea Dogs and their defeat of the mighty Spanish Armada never fails to stir the blood of any true Brit. Meanwhile during the Civil Wars and the Battles of Marston Moor, Naseby, Preston, Dunbar and Worcester the fearsome efficiency of Oliver Cromwell, and the new model army under his major generals Lambert, Fleetwood, Desborough - proved a template for the Imperial Marshallate of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the following century the Sun King, Louis Quatorze, was humbled by the duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplacquet. Finally, Nelson at Trafalgar and Wellington at Waterloo definitively extinguished the Napoleonic Imperial dream which had, taken its roots from the republicanism of ancient Rome and - perhaps - from Cromwell himself.
Wednesday, May 24. 2006
Mrs Beetons Hors d'oeuvres and Savouries
BY RAY KEENE
in complete contrast to the kaiser, mrs beeton is the tutelary goddess of hearth and home-impala is delighted to publish the second work from our mrs beeton series which coincides with the rather more warlike writings of the former german emperor.
The second part of our Mrs Beeton portfolio, this volume deals exclusively with non sweet dishes and hors'doeuvres. Mrs Beeton was the presiding genius of 19th century cookery and her reputation lives on undiminished in the pages of this book.
Mrs Beeton's Cookbook --the companion volume and our first mrs beeton publication-is the Diamond Jubilee edition which was published in 1897, when the Queen Empress Victoria had been on the throne for 60 years. It forms part of the Impala Victorian series which also includes Never Nonplussed by Peter Keene. for students of the victorian age it is also worth looking at www.hardingesimpole.co.uk
where howard stauntons massive work-the great schools of england-gives unique contemporary insight into the educational system which fuelled the british empire.
Tuesday, May 23. 2006
AUT CAESAR AUT NIHIL
BY RAY KEENE
THE KAISERS AUTOBIOGRAPHY HAS NOW BEEN REPUBLISHED BY IMPALA
The causes for the First World War often boil down to the author of this book - the impetuous young Kaiser - the man who dropped the pilot - the cautious Iron Kanzler Otto Von Bismarck, whose policies had kept the powder keg of europe at peace for thirty years. Kaiser William II was only 40 years old when the First World War ended, yet he had already created an irradicable image for himself as a belligerent, sabre rattling warlord, prancing around in a colourfully outdated mediaeval uniform, topped off by a tin helmet which would have done justice to a Wagnerian Wotan. In other words, an absurd, posturing warmonger, a relic from the barbarian age of Attila the Hun, a living menace to the delicately balanced chancelleries of Europe.
In this book however, the Kaiser in person portrays himself in an utterly different light. Here we see a modern man, torn between two cultures, that of his native Germany, but also of england and the British Empire. The Kaiser was in fact the grandson of the Queen Empress Victoria, and he spoke and wrote fluent English. He was a frequent visitor to Britain, loved English tea, and he admired and envied the global success and outreach of the British Empire.
According to the Kaiser's own account he strove desperately to avoid the First World War, which he regarded as one of defence not offence. Yet pressurised by the nationalist elements in German society he could not impede the headlong rush to hostilities which he had so long feared and sought to prevent.
No student of the causes of the First World War, nor anyone who seeks enlightnement as to the roots of the Second, can aford to ignore the insights provided by this autobiography, from the pen of the man who was at the absolute epicentre of a worldwide conflagration which not only engulfed the German Empire but brought down the Empires of Russsia, Turkey and Austro - Hungary. Here is a Gotterdammerung pour nos jours, told by a contemporary Wotan - a king of the gods who saw his Valhalla toppled into ruins before his very eyes.
Saturday, May 13. 2006
chess ,as we play it , was introduced in the mid to late 15th century, and swept away the older Arabic/Indian version of the game known as shatranj, with mysterious ease.true, modern chess is a more complicated game than shatranj, and thus offers a greater mental stimulus and challenge, but the older version of chess was by no means unsubtle, and an impressive shatranj culture had built up in arabic lands over the centuries. baghdad in particular was a thriving centre of shatranj expertise, with a fervent population of gamesters led by aliyat, or grandmasters, who numbered such illustrious names as the 10th century AD as suli and al laj laj amongst their adepts.these were men who not only played with great success, but also wrote down their most profound thoughts on the game, as we know from surviving scraps of records found in constantinople, and other outposts of learning.
shatranj differed principally from modern chess in the following ways:pawns could only move one square at a time, even on their first turn;bishops leapt two squares forwards or backwards diagonally, while the queen ( to which pawns had to promote) could only move diagonally one square at a time.victory was achieved by checkmate, stalemate or capturing all opposing pieces apart from the king.
the golden age of islamic chess lasted around 150 years and began during the rule of the 4th caliph of the abbasid dynasty harun ar rashid-786-809 AD. during this time the classic games were played and puzzles devised, the openings catalogued, with such wonderful names as torrent , sword and goat peg, and both basic and advanced principles were adumbrated and recorded by an elite group of aliyat, most of whom found favour at the caliphs court.
the rapid disappearance of shatranj is a puzzle. true, the new renaissance inspired form of chess which we still play now, was better suited to the times. chess , as i have pointed out before,is a game of war and the introduction of a long range piece such as the modern queen, may well have been a parallel to the contemporary deployment of distance weapons on the battlefield, such as artillery.modern chess, as noted above, is also more complex than shatranj, but that would scarcely account for the almost complete obliteration of shatranj in favour of the new matrix. it is arguable that go is a more difficult and richer game than draughts, or that shogi and xiangqi, respectively the japanese and chinese forms of chess, have advantages over the western form of the game. that does not, however, prevent all versions from co-existing in amicable fashion.
i have recently come to the conclusion that the principal reason for the easy triumph of chess over shatranj can be traced to the mongol warlord hulagu, brother to kublai khan , of stately pleasure dome fame, and grandson to the world conqueror ghengis khan. in 1258 hulagu utterly destroyed baghdad, the centre of shatranj, its players and its writings. as glubb pasha reports in his "lost centuries":
the 37th abbasid caliph mustasim and his sons were sewn up in sacks and trampled to death by mongol horses.from the death of the prophet in 632 AD the arab caliphate had lasted 626 years.for five centuries baghdad had been the heart of the muslim world , a city of palaces, of libraries of mosques and of colleges, of mathematicians, philosophers, poets, historians and theologians. after the destruction wrought by hulagu mounds of smoking rubble from which rose an unbearable stench of decaying flesh now alone marked the site of so much wealth, glory art science and learning- and chess , one might add, in the form of shatranj!
here we have , i believe, the solution to the mystery. the accumulated knowledge of centuries of commentary, games and patient explanation about shatranj by the first grandmasters in history had all gone up in smoke. when modern chess came along,there was simply no surviving corpus of intellectual opposition-the history, literature and culture of shatranj had been systematically annihilated by the mongols.it is as if all knowledge and wisdom concerning modern chess were suddenly to be lost. a new game , similar but with a bigger board and exciting new pieces, such as stealth bombers, nuclear submarines and tanks armed with uranium enriched shells, might well replace the older , poorly documented version overnight.
as we know, chess already competes , with surprising success, for its place in the sun, against shootem up games and computer simulations.without its rich literature, games by the greats and an accumulated treasury of brilliant combinations and checkmates to entice the neophyte, chess itself, as we know the game, might well succumb with extraordinary rapidity to the advent of a rival with more blatant popular appeal.
now try this puzzle
bear in mind the rules of shatranj as explained above and try to solve this
problem, based on a puzzle by the 9th century baghdad grandmaster al adli
white king d8 pawn f4 knight a5
black king d6 rook c6 bishop e6 pawn d5 queen b5
white to play and give checkmate in one move only
remember rooks knights and kings move exactly as in the modern game. there is no castling. the initial set up of the pieces on the board is the same in shatranj as in modern chess.as an example of a shatranj bishop move a white bishop on f1 could leap to h3 or d3-once on d3 -for example-it cd leap backwards to b1 or forwards to f5. it could even leap across obstacles -hence white bishop on h3 black pawn on g4-the bishop is threatened with capture-in the modern game you can play Bxg4 but not in shatranj-instead Bf5 leaping over the pawn is legal.
now you have enough info to play chess the way they did in baghdad 1000 years ago-and by the way the solution to the problem is 1Nb7 checkmate-since the black queen only moves diagonally it cannot take the deadly knight!
Saturday, May 6. 2006
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE RE THE FIDE/WORLD CHESS FEDERATION PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WHERE DUTCH BUSINESSMAN BESSEL KOK FACES OFF AGAINST ALIEN SPACE SHIP GUEST KIRSAN ILUMZHINOV,HAS BEEN SENT TO ME BY INTERNATIONAL CHESS GRANDMASTER LARRY EVANS-IT IS FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE ST KITTS AND NEVIS CHESS ASSOCIATION MARCUS ROBERTS-I HAVE SLIGHTLY EDITED THE MESSAGEWHICH INDICATES THAT THE IOC WILL SEVER ALL CONNECTION WITH FIDE IF THE ALIEN FRIENDLY CHESS PRESIDENT REMAINS THE FIDE INCIUMBENT. RAY KEENE
I doubt that Kok can pull it off. I have been talking to several FIDE
I'll give Bessel Kok a chance. I won't complain to the IOC about St
Kitts and Nevis until the election, but I am afraid we are in for a
scenario where the IOC really looks at this ant-Jew, anti-Black
attitude in FIDE, the corruption, and throws the MINDSPORTS out of the
Olympic village. I guess the good news is no more drug tests, but the
price is going to be VERY HIGH. The Caribbean is anti-European. All
small states are generally anti-European.
Kirsan is a creation of the tension between big and small FIDE nations.
The smaller nations prefer a dictator.
I project Kirsan to win with 55% of the vote. I hope I am WRONG.
Do you think that the IOC will risk losing corperate sponsorship over Kirsan?
President, St Kitts and Nevis Chess Federatrion
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